It is exciting to see a new Kayak Cadence Sensor on the market in the form of the Allegro Cadence Sensor from www.washrider.com. Over the last month or so I have put this cadence sensor through its paces not only personally but with some of the elite kayakers I work with.
At first look, the Allegro looks large and cumbersome due to the float that the electronics are housed in. Once attached to the paddle it takes a few minutes to get use to having the sensor attached and in your field of vision but once you start into your session the 110 g unit including the 2x AAA batteries is quickly forgotten about and it soon just becomes part of the landscape.
Being similar to the GSC 10 ANT+ (the Garmin cycling cadence sensor) the unit easily pairs with ANT+ capable devices. During the testing we did, a Garmin 910 XT was used in cycling mode and the pairing of the sensor was flawless and easy to perform.
The real time data obtained from the sensor while on the water was great. It seemed very responsive to changes in cadence but stable during sustained paddling durations. Being able to train with the guidance of cadence and use it to inform your training has been a huge leap for kayakers over the past few years that kayak cadence sensors have been available.
However when looking at the data following the training session on the computer there were a lot of spikes in the cadence data which have been put down to brace strokes/ paddle virbations in choppy conditions, small part strokes while stopping or floating slowly between intervals etc. These spikes throw out the average cadence data making it of little use from the full session. I am currently doing some extended testing around this area to see the extent of these data outliers during different types training sessions and will keep you updated one I have collated some data.
The fact that this unit floats is reassuring, so if it does for some reason fall off your paddle it is not lost forever. However, it seems that the velcro strap that holds it on is not likely to break in a hurry. Maybe some of the float bulk could be removed with confidence that the strap will hold it in place up to a category 5 hurricane.
The velcro strap can become somewhat annoying. I found when resting my paddle across my legs between intervals some of the exposed sections stuck to the lycra shorts I was wearing. This was by no means a deal breaker and was quickly fixed with some tape or wearing a spray skirt.
So as a first look at the Allegro Kayak Cadence Sensor it is a great piece of kit that when integrated into a paddlers training can provide really useful information. It is great to see another kayak cadence sensor on the market and coming in at $149 + free world wide shipping this is a really affordable option for paddlers or multisport athletes who have to juggle the already expensive cost of training and competing.